Late Summer Garden and Other Stuff

I have so much to tell you all!  I’ve been away from the computer forever!  I’ve been so busy trying to finish projects that I haven’t allowed myself time to write about them.

Before I get to the projects, I wanted to share some pictures of our late-season garden.  Things have held up really well – usually by this time many of the plants have gotten really lanky or faded.  The cooler-than-usual temperatures and above-normal amount of rain must have extended their season.  I guess that’s one positive of a less than ideal summer!

Late Summer Garden Cottag4c

I think the ivy needs a haircut!

I love our porch but it would be great to find a new home for our lovely old grill.  ugh

Late Summer Porch - cottage4c

I actually had tons of motivation to complete a bunch of projects in a short time, because I did a crazy thing back in June.  A super-sweet lady from our neighborhood development committee stopped by our house and asked if we would be part of their up-coming home tour.  I said yes.  I can’t believe that I said yes.  Because this is what our bathroom looked like.

bathroom before

Oh this bathroom.  This black hole of a project.  It’s so creepy.  It was horrible before Kevin demolished the walls and tub and ripped out the floor.  Two years ago.  Now it’s beyond horrible.  As it turned out, the bathroom wasn’t finished in time for the tour (it still isn’t!), but Kevin got all of the drywall up, so it actually looked much better.  Walls will do that for a room!

Next up is the wall in our bedroom that was left with a huge hole when Kevin demolished a closet as part of the bathroom demo.  He closed it up with a piece of plywood, and we kinda forgot about it.

Bedroom plank wall progress

I’ve gone back and forth so many times about how to finish the wall.  Kevin would have loved to finish it loooong ago if I had made a decision one of the million times that he asked me about it!  Then a couple of weeks ago I read a post from House of Smith where they used plywood slats (cut by Home Depot) for a planked wall.  It sounded easy and inexpensive, so that was the route we went.

Bedroom planked wall

It still needs to be trimmed out around the top, and the edges need to be cleaned up.  I really like the warmth that the wood adds to the room, and decided not to paint it (for now!).  I’m searching for a long dresser or big armoire (to paint) that will sit along the wall.  And I have a feeling I’ll be painting the rest of the room because I have no idea what the color is for touch-ups where the walls got messed up in the building process.  rats.

The next big project is our office/play room.  This one is a classic example of something that I thought would be a quick do-over that turned into a much bigger project.  Here’s what we did in a few short weeks:

Moved piano from room

Widened the opening of the existing closet

Turned closet into a computer alcove

Painted walls

Painted stripes on floor

Hung a mural on one wall

Moved a gigantic, old cabinet into the room

I also made a new light fixture for the dining room, sanded and refinished our dining room table top, touched up every inch of baseboard and trim on the first floor, and tons of other little things that you only think about doing when you know that 100+ people are going to be strolling through your home!  phew!

I’ll be posting all of the projects soon.  It’s kinda funny that as I was finishing things I would think – ‘it’s good enough for the tour, but not quite blog-ready’.  I’ll be busy in the next few weeks making things blog-worthy!!

Thanks for reading along…

Love you all!




  1. My husband and I were on the home tour and saw your home, and we thought it was beautiful! All the work you did to get everything ready definitely paid off :)

  2. Busy girl! Hmmm, I painted my toenails this summer ;) Looking forward to the posts on all your labors. BTW, the photo of the exterior of your home is charming.

  3. I’ve missed you but I sure can see why you haven’t been blogging! It’s funny how we put it in gear when we know people will be over to our homes! My house always looks it’s best before a party! Your bath is going to look great and I love what you are doing with the bedroom. I wanted horizontal planks for our bathroom, but in a coin toss, hubby got his way! :(

    You flowers are looking wonderful. I was wondering how your new flower beds worked out, you posted about that in the spring and you inspired me to do a little digging myself!!


  4. Hi Brenda,
    Have you done anything with the plywood wall in your bedroom yet? If not, I would consider staining it You can either stain it the same color as the painted walls or use it as an accent wall and go a completely different route. I know a lot of people think that plywood isn’t pretty enough to stain and would rather cover it up with paint but I am not one of those people. I think stained plywood looks beautiful. If you’ve never tried it, (which I bet you have) get a small piece and see what you think. If you’ve already done something to the wall, please post.

    Good luck and I miss you much.


    P.S. I have actually had dreams about your cottage. I love, Love, LOVE it.

  5. Just found you on HomeTalk. Your house is just adorable! I would LOVE to have a garden like yours. I just don’t seem to have that much of a green thumb or the time it takes to tend to it. I did nothing with my gardens last year and they look pitiful. Now that the warmer weather is coming I am gearing up to get to work outside. I am looking forward to sprucing the place up.

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